Des Plaines Student Wins National Merit Scholarship Grant


Kathryn Pantell, a senior high school student at The Willows Academy located in Des Plaines, has been awarded with the National Merit Scholarship grant of $2,500. Pantell is only one of the 2,500 high school students to win the prestigious scholarship.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSP) was established in 1955 to help and recognize the academic potential of U.S. high school students in need of financial support to continue their studies and in preparation for admission to a college or university.

Pantell’s qualification exceeded those of the remaining 2,459 candidates for the scholarship out of the original 1.5 million students who applied for a 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program. Applicants were required to take the 2009 PSAT examination to be considered honorary candidates for the scholarship.

The recipient was named a finalist to the National Merit Scholarship Program because of her meritorious academic performance in college preparatory course work and the high marks she had received in the preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test.

Aside from that, Pantell submitted an essay covering comprehensive information about her leadership positions, extracurricular activities that she is part of the school, and honors or awards received. Her sterling grade performance was taken into account for the National Merit Scholarship award.

Mary J. Keenley, Head of School of the Willows Academy, expressed her congratulations for Katie who is now part of a circle of high school seniors given a rare opportunity to pursue their studies through the National Merit Scholarship grant.

“We are immensely proud and happy for Katie Pantell. We have seen her tremendous diligence, aptitude, and responsibility over the seven years she has been a student here at the Willows and are so happy that those talents and characteristics are being recognized by the award of this prestigious scholarship,” said Keenly.


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